Chael Sonnen Says Jon Jones Is a Talented Kid, but He’s Facing a Man in Dan Henderson

August 20, 2012
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Chael Sonnen at the UFC 148 press conferenceFor years, Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson shared the same mat space, coaches and training areas as part of Team Quest, and even though they don’t train full time together any longer, they will always be close friends and teammates.

But Sonnen’s dedication to his friend doesn’t necessarily stop him from analyzing and breaking down a fight, and that’s why he’s picking Henderson to defeat UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the main event for UFC 151.

While Sonnen’s recent tirades have been aimed directly at Jones because the ‘American Gangster’ from West Linn, Oregon is moving into the same weight class, he looks at this fight as a match-up between the two best fighters at 205lbs.

Sonnen just happens to favor Henderson in the fight.

“I believe in Hendo and so should you,” Sonnen said. “If you look at Jon Jones and think of a man who can beat him, you would think of someone with great KO power, the best chin in the sport because, with his reach, Jones is going to hit you, great wrestling and a relentlessly aggressive style. That man already exists – and his name is Dan Henderson.”

For all the grief that Sonnen has been giving Jones lately via Twitter, the former middleweight title contender can still admit when a fighter is simply great. Sonnen pays Jones his dues for being one of the most dominant fighters he’s ever seen, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get beat and that doesn’t mean he won’t lose the UFC light heavyweight title on Sept 1.

“This fight on September 1 is a fight to determine who is the greatest ever light heavyweight. I give Jon Jones his due as a great fighter. He’s beaten some outstanding fighters already and looked impressive each time. He’s already accomplished so much in the sport. Just not as much as Dan Henderson,” Sonnen stated.

Henderson’s record and accolades speak for themselves, but Sonnen backs up his teammate with a lot of facts that point to him being one of the greatest fighters of this or any era.

“Everyone talks about pound-for-pound champions and pound-for-pound achievements. But if you look at what pound-for-pound should mean – who has the ability to beat small fast guys, the ability to knockout big, strong guys, to move through the divisions with your skill-set and win – the only conclusion a rational person would make is Dan Henderson is the pound-for-pound greatest of all time,” Sonnen said.

“Dan beat the 170lbs champion in Carlos Newton, he’s won the PRIDE 183lbs title, the PRIDE 205lbs title, the Strikeforce 205lbs title, and he’s won the two great tournaments in our sport, the UFC tournament back in the day and the PRIDE Grand Prix. All in all he’s beaten 11 world champions in his career. The man is the best of all time. That is who Jon Jones is facing.

“Jones is a talented kid but he’s taking on a man, and I’d bet on the man any day of the week.”

Henderson will get the chance to back up Sonnen’s predication at UFC 151 in Las Vegas when he faces Jon Jones with the UFC light heavyweight title on the line.

For more UFC 151 information, news and rumors check out’s UFC 151 page

  • Triggerman99

    Sonnen clearly doesn’t understand what “pound-for-pound” means.

    • Richurd Cheese

      Seems like a pretty logical train of thought. Who’s done more at different weight classes than Hendo? Couture came close, but never fought at middleweight, or in PRIDE.

      • Triggerman99

        But that’s not what pound-for-pound means. What Chael is referring to is just being able to fight very well at different weight classes. That’s just being the right size to move to and from a weight class. Pound-for-pound means if every fighter was naturally the same size, who would be the best?

        He is right that Dan has done the most at different weight classes, But that’s not the definition of pound-for-pound.

        • Richurd Cheese

          I take hard evidence over speculation any day of the week. Your (and many other peoples) version of P4P is like religion, a guess based on nothing of substance. However, if I was forced to make a blind guess contrary to the laws of physics, I would take Jose Aldo. It is stupid to even guess though…

          • KBEsq

            First, Triggerman’s definition is the correct one. It means who is best taking weight out of the equation. JDS is probably gonna beat Jose Aldo, but who is a more talented fighter? That’s what P4P means, and I don’t think it’s meaningless at all.

            The definition you propose has nothing to do with P4P. Seriously, if a guy goes from weight class to weight class and beats all the fighters in those classes, we shouldn’t call him the P4P best fighter; we should just call him the best fighter period. There’s no need for the P4P qualification if he literally beats guys in all other weight classes.

          • Lesnardo


            Your definition favors well-rounded fighters such as Roy Nelson over a single discipline fighter like JDS.

            The p4p ranking is susceptable to so many definitions. It is this theoretical concept that can never be proven.

            Only thing certain is an outcome of an actual fight. We can readily determine who the baddest man on the planet is. That is JDS. He can beat anyone.

            This whole p4p thing was abused pretty badly by Dana White in promotion Anderson Silva when Fedor was destroying Tim Sylvia and Arlovski and made the UFC look like crap.

          • Triggerman99

            But “hard evidence” doesn’t exist in pound-for-pound superiority. The evidence Chael is referring to isn’t evidence of P4P accomplishments. Its evidence of Henderson being able to fight in different weight classes, which is completely different.

        • ThePilot

          Yeah being able to win fights in different weight classes doesn’t make you best pound for pound fighter ever. It’s stupid anyway, just something for people to debate, I’d go with GSP.

          • Triggerman99

            Yeah, by definition its impossible to actually determine. That’s why its always so hotly debated.
            But Chael’s definition is absolutely incorrect.

          • Richurd Cheese

            Im just saying, sonnen’s version has more basis in reality. How is moving around in weight classes different than p4p? It simply provides more evidence. There is more evidence supporting hendo than anyone else, period. No one is right, no one is absolutely incorrect. If you think you are right about this, then you are probably a jackass.

      • jamin

        It doesn’t matter who Hendo fought or where he doesn’t matter how many different weight divisions, the fact is, he could never be the P4P king, that title belongs to Spider Silva, who, let’s not conveniently forget, choked out and finished the great Hendo.

  • tenbearsohiomma

    Jones vs. Henderson in UFC 151 will be a great headliner fight. By far Hendo has the most MMA experience by far. The boxing reach goes to Jones. The clinch goes to hendo as well as the Wrestling. Power GOES TO hendo, But Jones has the most unusual combinations in MMA. Kicking goes to Jones as well, However this is MMA. Here at Tenbears Martial Arts Academy in Dayton, Ohio we watch all the fights as a team have fun beats an enjoy supporting the class dayton

    • i disagree w/ the wrestling advantage and clinch going to hendo…bones is nasty in the clinch and i dont think hendo is taking bones big ass down either…the only advantage i give hendo is in power and chin…

    • RubeKegal

      For an “MMA School” you seem to have little knowledge of MMA. Hendo gets taken down almost every fight…to say he has a wrestling advantage on Bones shows that your jiu jitsu instructor is probably Art Jimmerson.

      • lfighterc

        hahaha nobody gonna get the “Art Jimmer” Unless you’ve seen the very first ufc fight ever

  • MaritalArtist

    It would be nice for us to be able to compare Hendo and BJ Penn to these other guys, Anderson, Jones, GSP. But we should hold off in the off-chance that they do actually move around a bit in weight in the next year. A GSP or Silva win against each other would do a lot. Also, a Silva-Jones fight will also mean a lot. I wish Silva would grow some balls and just fight GSP at 180 CW, then fight Weidman, then move up to fight Jones himself, then JDS, then retire. If he can beat all those, he easily can move past Hendo in the greatest of all time department. Right now the only thing stopping him is NOT his fighting ability, or his age, but his being a little too conservative toward the end of his career. Which I understand. I don’t like it, but I understand it. Come on, Mr. Anderson! Do it!!!

    • what do you mean grow balls and fight GSP? you make it seem like GSP ever once called out Silva? Silva didnt flat out call George out but they def. said theyd be open to the fight w/ him so i dont see how you could say AS is scared of GSP…nothing in the past few years would indicate that being true…at very least AS has moved up from WW originally, to MW, and LHW…success at 3 weight classes…when has George ever moved up? not even to fight a guy like AS but any MW? fact is, he hasnt…and whats this silly talk about GOAT? Anderson is already well past Hendo in the greatest of all time department…hows that even up for debate? the simple fact AS wrecked Hendo proves that alone…

    • kaldani15

      Dude before you say silva needs to grow balls and fight GSP step your knowledge up son. GSP still has to fight condit which is going to be a good matchup. before ppl like you keep talking about superfights, they need to clean out the division. and johnny hendricks or kampmann gets the next shoot at the WW title so GSP has more to worry then a superfight with AS. And if there should be a superfight AS vs Jones would be the best one if Jones could pass Hendo. Because they both clearly wipedout their divisions.

  • oswaldcobblepott

    Sonnen gets pummeled by either one. Jones like Hendo is one of the few gentleman of the sport, he could’ve really embarrassed Evans but laid of the gas peddle to save the Jackson camp and his buddy from further shame. They are buddies by the way in a year or two they will put it all behind them

    • macgrubber

      Yes jones is a gentleman and a scholar. Thats why he was driving drunk. Ahhh what a role model.

  • pooby

    Sonnen is easily the best pound for pound fight hyper.

    I wonder if Dana is paying him for helping to sell a fight he isn’t involved in.

    • dathump

      Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf, by the time Sonned beats one of these guys he has been mouthing off, claiming he will distroy them, no one will be watching. His trash talking will mean nothing because he hasn’t backed it up. He is a one deminsional fighter who has takedowns, but thats it. I think the chances of Sonnen winning again against a top fighter are slim, the word is out, armbar or choke and Sonnen is out.

  • atmosphere

    also, Chael said that Okami would decimate Silva

    womp womp

  • Sonnen is simply sticking up for his Team Quest teammates. In that situation, when someone sticks a microphone in front of you, you simply have to back the guy you train with.

  • KBEsq

    Yeah, Sonnen, just like the time you told us Okami was going to beat Silva. That was one of the best predictions in the history of MMA!

    Ohh, wait. Silva didn’t even break a sweat in that fight, and probably got more injured walking to the cage.

  • Towers66

    1. Silva.
    2. GSP
    3. Jones
    4. Hendo
    5. Edgar
    6. Aldo
    7. Fedor
    (JDS, Liddell, couture, Penn, Diaz or some of the little fellas????)

    That’s my list of P4P kings. I think you could change the order around depending on your definition of “P4P” also. what you guys think? Other lists?